WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Voters in South Carolina and Nevada will pick candidates for the U.S. Congress and other offices in primaries on Tuesday, testing former President Donald Trump’s power over the Republican Party ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
Maine and North Dakota also hold nomination contests. Here are three key races to watch:
SOUTH CAROLINA’S 7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
U.S. Representative Tom Rice was one of the few Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Afterward, Trump endorsed state Representative Russell Fry to challenge Rice in the Republican nomination contest for the congressional seat. Fry’s campaign raised more than $750,000 through May 25, pointing to a potentially competitive race with Rice who has raised nearly $2 million. The seat is expected to be an easy Republican win in the November general election.
SOUTH CAROLINA’S 1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Trump in February endorsed state Representative Katie Arrington’s primary challenge against Republican U.S. Representative Nancy Mace, irked by Mace’s public statement that Congress should consider censuring Trump for his role in the Capitol riot. Mace also refused to back Republican efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential election results. Newly-drawn district boundaries have led analysts to view the seat as safely Republican in November.
NEVADA SECRETARY OF STATE
The Republican nominating contest for Nevada’s top election official features former state assemblyman Jim Marchant, who has said he would have refused to certify Trump’s presidential election loss in Nevada, citing a false allegation that it was stolen from Trump. Marchant’s top competitor in the race could be former state Senator Jesse Haw, who has said Nevada’s voting rules make it easy to cheat. Haw has called for an end to Nevada’s practice of sending mail ballots to every voter, while Marchant proposes the state ditch vote-counting machines in favor of hand-counting ballots. The winner will face Democrat Cisco Aguilar, a former aide to former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, in what could be a close November contest.
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